This is a story of India’s lockdown, an abandoned class and an ocean of need. But beyond that, it is a story of courage, devotion and the frontline NGOs to whom the unthinkable task of feeding the Indian people has fallen, from Delhi to Goa, Assam to Gujarat. Despite overwhelming scarcity, many of these groups are responding whole-heartedly, with irreplicable closeness to on-the-ground realities and the invaluable trust of their communities.
This pandemic has upped the stakes for anti-slavery work, as poverty and famine are hotbeds for exploitation. But in India and across the globe, as existing chasms between the “haves” and “have-nots” drive deeper into the earth, frontline groups are shining a light. They are countering deepening scarcity with vision and resilience.
COVID-19 is teaching us many hard lessons. One is the value of frontline organisations – the same organisations that struggle to win support from funders, and are denied a seat at the human rights policy table.
When taking stock from the wreckage of this virus, we will have new cause to look to these groups for guidance.
Photographs by Arise network India. For reproduction enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org